• Wreck Shark Shootout 2019

    Olympus Dive Center

    Registration is open for Wreck Shark Shootout 2019. The latest word is there are only 5 or 6 slots left. If you want to go, sign up soon! NOTE: You don't sign up with me. You need to read this whole thing and follow the link to the event website, then sign up with the event promoter. The Wreck Shark Shootout is an event ostensibly for the purpose of having a photo and video contest. But, it's a ton of fun, even if you don't shoot any pictures or video. There will be 2 dives per day. Every dive is on a wreck that is usually well stocked with sand tiger sharks. The sand tigers are totally docile and so awesome to swim with! On the Saturday night of the event, there is a big dinner for everyone and prizes are awarded for the best photos and videos of sharks and wrecks. The last 2 years, 1st prize in each category was a full week liveaboard somewhere (Palau, the Caribbean, etc.). The Grand Prize for Best Overall photo has been a week liveaboard on the M/V Odyssey, in Truk Lagoon. 2nd Place in each category have typically been things like underwater strobes (i.e. camera flash units), regulators, etc.. Prizes are awarded for the top 3 entries in each category. Caveat: There is no guarantee of what the prizes will be this year. The diving is suitable for any recreational diver who meets the minimum requirements of Olympus Dive Center. Those are on their website, here: http://www.olympusdiving.com/diver-information/diver-requirements/ Basically, you should at least have Advanced Open Water and at least 20 dives. If you have any concerns about that or would like to attend but don't feel you meet the requirements, please feel to talk to me. I have attended this event the last 3 years (2016 - 2018). My buddy flew over from England to do it in 2016 and he enjoyed it so much he came back each year since, and is coming over again this year. Yes, it is that much fun. I have marked this event as running from May 30 thru June 2. But, there are 2 days of "recon" diving, on May 28 and 29. I am going down to dive from May 26 through June 2. For full details on the event, including cost, and to sign up, go to the event website at: https://www.evolutionunderwater.com/6th-annual-north-carolina-wreck-shark-shootout-mike-gerken-olympus-dive-center If you register for the event, be sure and come back here and RSVP so we can all keep up with who is going from the meetup.

  • DC/VA/MD Scuba Monthly Meetup (Fall's Church)

    Location visible to members

    HAPPY HOUR TIME Come on out and talk about diving! Dogwood has a great selection of craft beer on draft and in bottles, as well as wine and liquor. They also have good food. And a really nice covered outdoor area for while the weather is still good, plus a nice, big indoors for once the weather drives us all inside. Booo! :-) This meetup changed from Tuesday to Thursday. So, now it is the first THURSDAY of each month. The new location (as of July 3, 2017) is the Dogwood Tavern, 1/2 a block from the old location (Clare and Don's).

  • DC Monthly Happy Hour

    TBD

    We're going to start doing the DC happy hour on the third Thursday of each month. The location will vary, so check here before you come out.

  • Scuba & Fireworks - St. Croix

    The Fred

    Join us for Scuba & Fireworks in beautiful St. Croix. Highlights include dives at the top rated Frederiksted Pier, Wrecks of Butler Bay, Salt River Canyon, & Cane Bay. Non-Diving highlights include July 4th Fireworks on the beach & Beer Drinking Pigs? Book whatever dates work best for you, but let me know your itinerary. Diving: here is impressive. I’m planning a mixture of Shore Diving & Boat Diving. We can customize the mix of each for you. Yes, this trip is more customizable than your dive shop trips. We can do just about anything you want. We will definitely hit the world class dive site of Frederiksted Pier. Some of the cool things I saw on 2 dives here in 2016 were: a Flying Gurnard, Mantis Shrimp (way cool), a jaw fish with eggs in his mouth, sea horses, crabs (various varieties), an octopus in a bottle, starfish, a moray eel, scorpion fish, Triton’s Trumpet, flounder (yum), sea cucumber, turtle sleeping while lying on a sponge half way up a piling, and found some treasure. There is a dive shop with tanks and the hotel are both within walking distance. I am looking forward to 2 - 4 daytime dives on this pier, and at least one self-guided night dive. This is a shallow dive, so you may be able to get between an hour & an hour and a half of bottom time. Some links to read about the wrecks of Butler Bay & other dive sites. https://www.gotostcroix.com/st-croix-dive-sites/deep-wrecks-at-butler-bay-rosaomaira-and-coakley-bay/ http://www.canebayscuba.com/st-croix-divesites.html Destination: St. Croix is one US Virgin Islands, and therefore US Citizens do not need a passport to travel there. The island has 2 towns, Frederiksted & Christiansted. We will be staying in Frederiksted because the dive site the Frederiksted Pier is located there and the fireworks will be launched there on the 4th. Did I say fireworks? Yes! You will not miss out on any of the festivities. Actually, it could be on the best July 4th celebrations you have. The fireworks display is shot off from the Frederiksted pier and you just sit on the beach or float on the water and watch the show. Our hotel is right on the beach and you can see the fireworks from the porch. Air Travel: Book your own air travel on your favorite airline. Just let me know when you are getting in. I will actually be arriving on Friday June 28 and departing on Sunday July 7, but you can book any dates that you like. Non-Diving Activities: Yes, there are enough things to do on the island that you can bring your non-diving friend or significant other and they will have a blast too. Besides providing shore support for our shore dives ;) (ok, just teasing, sort of), they have 2 towns to explore & loads of beaches. There are several distilleries (Cruzan Rum and Captain Morgan Rum come to mind) and a couple of breweries. On thing not to miss during surface intervals are the beer drinking pigs. Yup. You heard right. Up in the tropical rain forest there is a bar, where you can buy beer and feed it to some thirsty pigs….right from the can. Don’t believe me? Come on out and see for yourself. For more information, google things to do in St. Croix or go to https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g147401-Activities-St_Croix_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html Hotels: The Fred Hotel is pet friendly, eco-friendly hotel on the beach in Frederiksted, St. Croix. 50% deposit is due at booking, with the balance due upon arrival. Deposits are refundable up to 30 days before arrival, but must email the hotel. Please enter “Washington Area Scuba Club” in the Company field so that the group can get credit. If we book 5 or more rooms, we will get a 10% discount. If you would prefer me to book the room, just pay me the deposit and I’ll do the booking for you. (must be 18 years old to stay at this hotel) More info or to book: http://www.SleepWithFred.com Another option is the Inn on Strand Street. I believe that they are less expensive, but you are not ocean front. http://www.innonstrandstreet.com/

  • DC/VA/MD Scuba Monthly Meetup (Fall's Church)

    Location visible to members

    HAPPY HOUR TIME Come on out and talk about diving! Dogwood has a great selection of craft beer on draft and in bottles, as well as wine and liquor. They also have good food. And a really nice covered outdoor area for while the weather is still good, plus a nice, big indoors for once the weather drives us all inside. Booo! :-) This meetup changed from Tuesday to Thursday. So, now it is the first THURSDAY of each month. The new location (as of July 3, 2017) is the Dogwood Tavern, 1/2 a block from the old location (Clare and Don's).

  • DC Monthly Happy Hour

    TBD

    We're going to start doing the DC happy hour on the third Thursday of each month. The location will vary, so check here before you come out.

  • Blackbeard's cruise in the Bahamas

    Nassau

    I am going on a Blackbeard's liveaboard cruise at the end of July. You are all invited to come along, too! Aaron E, from the meetup is also coming along. The trip is being run through Virginia Scuba. If you want to go, you need to contact them directly in order to sign up. https://www.virginiascuba.com/travel.htm The cost is $995 + a port fee of $125. That includes everything for a week of living and diving, except any tip for the crew and your airfare to get to and from Nassau. I have never been on a liveaboard before. That said, this is my understanding of how a Blackbeard's cruise goes: It is dorm-style accommodations. Bunks and shared bathrooms. This trip is very inexpensive for a reason. But, it does include all your food and drinks, including beer, wine, and rum punch. I'm told the food is pretty good and we will not go hungry. And, of course, it includes all your diving. You have to bring all your own gear, except for tanks. But, if you need to rent gear, that can be arranged (at additional cost, of course). The diving is completely appropriate for anyone from a fresh Open Water graduate right on up. Most of the diving will be 60 feet or less, with a few dives that may get to 90 - 100 feet. All the diving is with Air - no Nitrox. The boat provides you a tank and you setup your BCD and regs at the start and then it just stays assembled on that tank for the whole week. After a dive, the crew disconnects your reg, fills the tank, and reconnects your reg. You could do as many as 4 to 5 dives per day, if you're up for it. The water will be warm and clear. People often dive the whole week in just their bathing suit. Wetsuits are optional. We board the boat starting at noon on Saturday. The boat returns to Nassau on Thursday night and we spend the night on the boat and go home on Friday. It is probably best to fly to Nassau on Friday and spend the night there, so you have no worries about making it to the boat on time on Saturday. This trip would be an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to do any kind of training, as well. Doing your Advanced Open Water or other certifications on a trip like this would be very easy and convenient. There will be several instructors along on the trip that can do whatever you might want. If you want more details about the actual cruise itself, here is the website for Blackbeard's Cruises: https://allstarliveaboards.com/blackbeards-liveaboard-diving/

  • DC/VA/MD Scuba Monthly Meetup (Fall's Church)

    Location visible to members

    HAPPY HOUR TIME Come on out and talk about diving! Dogwood has a great selection of craft beer on draft and in bottles, as well as wine and liquor. They also have good food. And a really nice covered outdoor area for while the weather is still good, plus a nice, big indoors for once the weather drives us all inside. Booo! :-) This meetup changed from Tuesday to Thursday. So, now it is the first THURSDAY of each month. The new location (as of July 3, 2017) is the Dogwood Tavern, 1/2 a block from the old location (Clare and Don's).

  • DC Monthly Happy Hour

    TBD

    We're going to start doing the DC happy hour on the third Thursday of each month. The location will vary, so check here before you come out.